FEAR – forget everything and run OR face everything and rise......
Something happened the other day, and I was slapped REALLY HARD in the face with this decision. I RAN away as FAST AS I could, I didn’t stop or look back, I just kept moving.......
I found myself in a situation that was not dramatic, it wasn’t serious, there was no danger, no difficulty, no threat of harm or hurt, just a pedestrian, run of the mill miscommunication that happens regularly between 2 human beings who are conveying meaning from entirely their own point of view, guided and steered by their unique agenda and what is pressing at that moment in time. When I came to the to meet the situation I was blissfully caught up in my intention and expectation for the interaction......when I got there, because of the miscommunication and misunderstanding that resulted on both parties, I was faced with 2 choices. These choices were quite easy, straightforward and innocuous and given the low level of miscommunication at the time, they were more than adequate alternatives to address the situation. My response completely threw me. Without hesitation, consideration or the slightest thought of what I was doing it chose to RUN, FAST, HARD and without looking back for a second.
I was in a conversation, but somewhere inside, I was at war, firearms cocked and at the ready (is that the correct metaphor to convey I wonder?) I shot a series of rounds, rapidly, accurately and without so much as the slightest indecision, resolute in my complete and utter withdrawal from the perceived enemy. In that moment, I was so strongly triggered that my armoured warrior rose to battle to save me; heard threatening words and sensed the stench of combat engendered in them and reverted to the fall-back formation. My movements so swift and effortless, they flowed like a familiar, protective dance. I took myself to my car and drove off to a familiar place, somewhere I had worked for years, years ago, driven there by adrenaline and stone cold fear.
When I had stopped, there was still no rational thought, I just felt sick. I wanted to hurl and rid myself of the feeling of ambush in the pit of my stomach, to purge the dread and confusion, but I had to sit there and be with myself. I called a friend in my frenzied state and back and forth words came like pellets, the dizzying interchange froze me more adamantly in my terror and yet I so strongly and vehemently clung to the familiar code that so loudly overshadowed the reason and truth of what was happening. My friend spoke to me, trying to get me to see sense, and although I could hear the words and see the clarity of the pictures, I was safer in what I knew, the familiarity held me captive. My breath has taught and revealed many things about myself to me, one of the clearest signals to me that things are really not as they should be is the bullet proof brace I employ in my lower abdomen; I hold breath here, I steadfastly clench and amour this part of me, ready to protect myself from an onslaught. There is so much fighting talk in what I say and how I express this feeling state, and that is simply because that is how it feels to my body and somewhere in the crevices of my mind I battle these feelings, I battle this understanding and exposure in life, I battle for a safer feeling space. When I allowed myself to begin to engage in what my breath was doing to me, where my holding was paralysing me I had to take notice a little more, observe instead of react and engage in what I was reliving and recreating by running away to my old safe places.
I was shocked at this point because I had done so much work to move on and move forward. I was dazed because I felt a million miles away from the places, people and events in my life that had regularly propagated and encouraged these responses on a daily basis, sometimes more than once a day; mainly I was saddened and confused because the person who had triggered me could not have been further in temperament, energy and motivation from my sordid ghosts of the past. He was an innocent bystander in this, yet I was treating him to the director’s cut, in real time editing.
I was tempted to keep running; run away and never go back. Instead I took myself deep into the thick of my fear, took myself back to my humanity and with my companion, sat and spilled my guts, a million miles away from what this feeling prompted of me. In my ability to take this step, give my self-permission to be present with the feelings that had so brutally surfaced and displaced my calm together and ‘sortedness’ I understood where my progress was greatest, where the work, time and effort in my breathing, meditation, yoga and Reiki practices had really paid the greatest dividends. Moving forward and letting go of the past for me was not exclusively about being able to reduce the number of times or incidences (although this had been a MASSIVE part of it) that I was exposed to overwhelming, debilitating feelings, but much rather how empowered I had become to sit, feel, deal and move on from them. My ability to articulate how I felt and how devastating that had been to my sense of safety and the subsequent choices that I took at that time and the tools I had to overcome those feelings at the time was and is like 24 carat magic gold dust, and this I love VERY MUCH!